Cooking with BC Beer and BC Meat – Imperial Stout Marinated Flat Iron Steak
Dark beer is a particularly great marinade for grilling or cooking meats like steak for a couple of important reasons. First of all, the darker and more intense roasted malt flavours pair up nicely with any grilled (or cast iron cooked) meat. Secondly, it’s been discovered that marinating meat in dark beer has a profound effect on limiting the formation of potentially harmful polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that form when meat is cooked at high temperatures (study link here). So not only does marinating meat in dark beer taste great, it also comes with some possible health protections on the side. Be it flavour, health concerns or just trying something new, I strongly suggest giving dark beer a chance as a meat marinade, especially for a steak like the one in the recipe below.
Marinade: Prep 4-6 hours in advance
- 1 cup of craft dark imperial strength stout (I used Bomber Russian Imperial Stout)
- 2 tbs of soy sauce
- 2 tbs of teriyaki sauce (or if you don’t have it, 2 tbs of brown sugar will do)
- 2 diced green onions
- 1 crushed clove of garlic
- Small pinch of salt and pepper
- One or two pastured flat iron steaks (any mid priced cut really)
At least 4-6 hours in advance, pre-mix all ingredients of the marinade and pour over up to two medium sized flat iron steaks in a Ziploc bag. Move the bag around to ensure all the meat is covered and remove as much air as possible before sealing. Put back into the refrigerator until you are ready to use it, I prefer my steaks with at least 6 hours of marinade time.
Imperial Stout Marinated Flat Iron Steak:
- One or two pre-marinated flat iron steaks
- 1 tbs of olive oil
- 1 tbs of butter
- ½ cup of remaining marinade
- Grilling vegetables like asparagus, brocollini or even whole mushrooms
It should be noted that there are many, many ways to cook or grill a steak. In this instance I like to cook these steaks in a cast iron pan and add the veggies into the pan halfway through so I can cook them at the same time. Feel free to follow your own preference here, this would be great on a gas grill, or even over charcoal so it’s totally up to you.
Step 1 – Remove meat from fridge about 30-60 minutes before cooking to allow it to warm up closer to room temperature while it sits in the marinade.
Step 2 – Preheat a cast iron pan on medium-high heat with about a tablespoon of olive oil in it, this is also good time to turn your oven hood fan on. I find these pans need at least 10 minutes maybe 15 minutes to preheat properly, so time your preheat accordingly.
Step 3 – Once the pan is quite hot, carefully add the steaks and watch that sizzle go! Cover with a grease shield and let the steaks grill for a few minutes on the each side in order to start forming a crust on the steak. You don’t really need to salt them again before cooking, but feel free to if you like well salted steaks.
Step 4 – After a couple of turns, add in the vegetables, splash a little marinade in the pan and flip those steaks however often your heart desires until they are cooked to your liking. Your cooking time depends on the thickness of the steak, how hot your stove gets and ultimately how you like your steaks cooked.
Note: If you like them cooked past medium rare, be sure to have a preheated oven ready and finish them at 400F if you want tender steaks. Just put the whole cast iron pan in there, be careful it’s really heavy and quite hot and makes a great vessel for oven finishing a steak!
Step 5 – Just before removing the steaks and veggies, put about a tablespoon of butter in the pan and give it a good swirl to cover everything. Remove the meat and rest it for about 5 minutes and keep the veggies warm with a foil tent on a plate until serving time.
Step 6 – Be sure to care for that cast iron pan when you are all done, wash before it gets cold, dry well and re-season with a very light covering of olive oil! I like to let mine hang out in a warm oven for a bit to dry completely and fully re-season.
Here's the mouth watering finished product, it's steak 2 which isn't shown in the title pic:
The author Terry Hickey is a craft beer enthusiast who is also the owner/operator of the West Coast Beer Geek Beer Blog who has more recently become a big fan of sustainably and ethically raised meat.
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